Flatbush residents will have fewer opportunities to eat fried dough this year because the city has axed a handful of long-running street fairs on a technicality — and the neighborhood says it’s no fair.
Street fairs on Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Avenue, and two on Church have been canceled because their sponsors dropped out, and new cost-cutting measures by the cash-strapped city forbid anyone from taking over the parties — even though the fairs would remain exactly the same.
“For anyone to call this a ‘new fair activity’ rather than an extension of the previous 25 years has never been to our Church Avenue Fair,” Larry Jayson, president of the Abermarle Neighborhood Association, told city officials in a letter. His group was planning to sponsor the Church Avenue fairs — one of which was slated for Sunday and the other in the fall.
“This is the same fair, same location, same event, just new sponsorship,” he said.
Last year, the city changed rules about street fairs and parades — which require an expensive police presence — but locals believed that existing fairs would be allowed to proceed as usual, even if the sponsoring group changed.
In the case of the Cortelyou Road and Ditmas Avenue “Spectaculars,” the sponsorship had to change because Rabbi Zvi Florence, the longtime director of both events, died last March.
But the city would not let a new sponsor step in.
Additionally, two Church Avenue fairs sponsored by the Kensington Merchants Association were killed after that group walked away. Mike Hyatt, who created Meteor Festival to run street fairs after the rabbi’s death, offered to organize the event, but the city said no (fuzzy) dice.
Hyatt is slated to produce nine fairs this year, including one on Church Avenue between E. 10th street and Argyle Road on May 1.
Flatbushers are flummoxed by the city’s policy.
“It’s a disappointment,” said Ed Powell, the head of the 70th Precinct Community Council, the longtime sponsor of a Church Avenue fair that is going off without a hitch on May 1.
©2011 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.